On Friday morning we went to another babies home. I was excited to go because I had heard about this ministry for a while. It is a place that Sara served when she first came to Uganda and a ministry site that most of Rafiki’s volunteers go to at some point while they are in Africa. It is a baby home for babies who have been orphaned and abandoned. Many of the babies here are adopted. It makes me so sad to think about babies being abandoned – they are completely helpless and don’t stand a chance without places like Sanyu to take them in and care fo rthem.
The sad reality though is like many ministries in Uganda, it is understaffed and underfunded. They do the best with the resources they have, and life there is better than the lfe these babies would have otherwise. But it was still really hard to be there.
After failing at hanging up laundry because the lines were all completely full, Allie, Bianca, and I went to the toddler room. This might have been the most stressful hour of my life. I have no idea if there were 30, 50, or 1527 toddlers in this tiny room. But it felt like way too many kids Since this babies home is just a temporary home for these children, I’m guessing that it is hard to establish routine with the kids since there isn’t a constitent group.
Toddlers are tough. I remember how I struggled to maintain order in the toddler room at the King CDC during college. My teaching licensure starts at age 3, but I was still required to work in the toddler room and teach lessons in there I couldn’t control 8 inne city toddlers in Minnesota with several people there to assist me. I don’t know how anyone could control dozens of toddlers who were abandoned so young here in Uganda. There was so much hitting and biting and climbing on top of each other and fighting over adults and peeing everywhere. At one point, the corner of a board book nailed me in the head, thanks to a toddler who was ticked at me for not reserving my lap for him when he wandered away. I felt like I was surrounded by chaos and even though Allie and I did our best to maintain some order with the children surrounding us, we felt helpless to help the room at large.
I was so thankful when it was lunch time and I could escape the toddler mayhem to give bottles to babies.
Let’s pray for the staff and children here. I’m so glad that there are people who are passionate about helping toddlers – even when the work is hard and the numbers are against you. Even though I had a tough day, I’m so glad this ministry exists and am grateful for the many people who come to Uganda to volunteer there.
(we couldn’t take pictures there, so let’s end this post with some Rafiki Kid Cuteness)